The first 2 cards show the freezing of the Ohio during the winter of 1904-1905. The ice was piled 30 feet high at North Bend with the river frozen all the way to the bottom. Dynamite was used to try and break apart the ice with limited success. Steamer wreckage was strewn from Pittsburgh to the Mississippi River. A coal shortage caused by the destruction of hundreds of coal barges and the stoppage of rail traffic occurred. The river was impassable for 56 days. The 3rd image is a non-postcard photo showing the same thing as the 1st postcard.
Trying to date this card has become somewhat of a challenge. Seeing the Steamer of Cincinnati on the left you would immediately say that this was taken before the ice broke up and destroyed her in 1918, BUT, the back of this card shows a rarely seen early version of a Kodak stamp box. The only year of use, that I can locate, of this box is 1904. This would mean that this card is of the 1904-1905 ice disaster seen in the 1st row, but I can not locate the City of Cincinnati's location during this time frame. If she had been damaged at this time some mentioned of it should be easy to locate. For the time being, until someone corrects me, I am going to say that this card shows the 1904-1905 disaster.
1917 - 1918 ICE GORGE
The sinking of the princess The Island Queen in distance
being pushed downriver by the ice.
During the coldest part of the winters it was customary to moor the Island Queen and the Princess at the mouth of the Kentucky River near Carrollton, which made a natural ice harbor. They were tied up along the shore in the winter of the "Big Ice" as it came to be called. Also moored there was an old convict ship, Success, solidly built of teakwood in 1790. When the ice gorges at Sugar Creek broke up and moved down the Ohio River, the ice began moving out of the Kentucky River. The mooring lines of the Success snapped and the ship started to float down the Kentucky River, colliding with the Island Queen, knocking her loose from the shore. Both craft hit the Princess and all three moved down toward the mouth of the Kentucky and the swiftly moving ice in the Ohio. The Success than slammed into the towboat Eugene Dana Smith which was the only boat to have steam up and it joined the parade down the Ohio. The Princess gouged by the ice sank to her roof line at the mouth of the Kentucky, but the ice carried her along until opposite Brooksburg, Indiana, where she finally disintegrated. The Smith with steam up and crew aboard managed to land at Brooksburg. The Island Queen, still in the clutches of the swift, grinding ice, went on down the river below Madison, Indiana where she was safely landed. The old British prison ship, Success, the instigator of the whole drama, protected by her high teakwood sides, came thru the whole thing unscathed. The prison ship can be seen in two cards on the Ohio River page.
Shanty Town Spring Grove & Colerain Home Guards helping Relief boat
Located at the mouth of the Licking River Shantytown was started during the flood of 1884 when around 1 dozen houseboats became stranded when the flood waters receded. After each subsequent flood more boats were added until a community was formed. The boats were arranged in rows like regular streets. The last two cards above show the Home Guards in action. These guards later became our National Guard.
Shantytown during flood
Shacks were finally built on higher ground, there
was a grocery store and a gospel mission (see 2nd page of Religious Charities).
The winter of 1918 saw the end of Shantytown with the boats and shacks cleared
off by the coal companies that owned the land.
Going to their homes Dry docks at Fernbank
Anderson Ferry Steamer Greenland Below Southern Bridge
Ferry boat Boone No. 5 (the fifth boat used at Anderson Ferry) sunk due to a 20 foot hole in its side. A ferry used at night and a fuel flatboat were both moored on the Kentucky side and were sunk. The Greenland was Gordon Greene's finest boat of his Greene Line fleet. He watched as three of his wharf boats were swept away. The Greenland was a total loss.
Steamer City of Louisville Not a postcard
The two steamers in the cards above and below were sister ships owned by the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Co. The City of Louisville was known as the fastest boat on the Ohio River. On April 18, 1894 she made a record run of 9 hours and 42 minutes that has never been equaled. She had 8 boilers and was 301 feet long. With 72 staterooms the steamer slept 160 people. Both boats were sunk in this ice jam. (many more cards on these boats on the Steamboat Page of the Transportation section).
Steamer City of Cincinnati
The 1st non-postcard image below shows the remains of the City of Cincinnati, the second one shows the City of Cincinnati (center) and the City of Louisville (right). The boat moored on the left is the Queen City. The 3rd shows City of Cincinnati during flood.
Dry Docks Rena Reeves Florence Marmet
The second card is misspelled, The boat was the Reba Reeves and was a towboat belonging to the Hatfield Coal Company. She sunk near North Bend along with over 100 coal barges (not all belonging to Hatfield). The shortage of coal almost shut down the power plant that supplied heat and light to Cincinnati. Factories and schools were closed for lack of fuel. The Florence Marmet belonged to the Marmet Coal Company (see coal page in the Business section). Although badly damaged it stayed afloat.
The Short Cut was a side-wheel ferry built in Pittsburgh in 1880. In 1917 she had been sold to the Louisville & Jeffersonville Ferry Co. She is shown here after riding out the big ice gorge. The grain co. seen was located at Walnut & Water Streets.